The human mind is a complex thing, and although we all use ours every single day, for most of us its power and potential are unknown and underestimated.
Our mind has the ability to make us feel and it’s the place where we shape our lives. So ensuring we have a healthy mindset that’s telling us helpful stories instead of hindering or harmful stories is what we need to develop. If we aren’t controlling our mind, then our mind will be controlling us.
Why do some people shy away from challenges and wilt in the face of failure, whereas other people who are no more talented or intelligent embrace challenge and thrive in the face of failure? These are the questions that Dr Carol Dweck Stanford University Psychologist, sought to answer which lead her to discovering two mindset types – The fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
In her book, Mindset, The New Psychology Of Success, Carol explains how when it comes to basic talents and abilities, the difference between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset will determine quite different outcomes.
- In a fixed mindset you avoid challenges, give up easily, see effort as pointless and feel threatened by other’s success. This is the mindset that saps your motivation and your belief that you can still learn and increase your intelligence.
- In a growth mindset you believe your abilities and knowledge can be developed through practice, effort, dedication and good teaching or mentoring from others. You believe that you can get smarter. A growth mindset has been proven to be more essential than simply having self-belief.
Michael Jordan is a perfect example, as Carol mentions in her book. Michael Jordan was not a natural born basketball player. He was cut by his college varsity team and not recruited by the college he wanted to play for. At that stage he was only mere mortal Michael Jordan. It was only when he grew his talent through effort, practice, commitment and determination and never giving up, that he became MICHAEL JORDAN, the hardest working athlete in the history of the sport.
Michael displayed all the traits of a growth mindset and he didn’t give up. He put all his energy into improving his basketball skills. You could even say he grew his basketball intelligence.
If you think you can’t then you’re probably right, and that’s because your mind is in a fixed state that believes that you can’t improve, develop or increase your intelligence. And you’re probably even further stunted by seeing others who are achieving and growing.
If you’re someone who embraces challenges, who can fail at something but will still persist after that setback, who can learn from criticism and who sees effort as a path to mastery, then your mind is in a growth state.
Get to know your mind and observe your behaviours. If you find yourself in a fixed mindset, know that you have the ability to change. Choose to adopt a growth mindset and watch your intelligence and your untapped potential GROW.
Are you not smart enough to solve it? Or have you just not solved it yet?
I’ll leave you with Michael Jordan’s words. “The mental toughness and the heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have. I’ve always said that and always believed it”.
If you’d like to learn more about developing your potential with a growth mindset, contact me about booking a free one-hour discovery session.